Tomas Update: Week 2 in Žilina

Ahojte všetci! I’m still alive in Žilina! This week has been a lot busier. Things are going good here and we are establishing ourselves – we are the first elders to be in Žilina for like a whole year so it’s an adjustment for the people we are teaching. But it’s been good!

This week we got to have dinner with a bunch of Ukrainian refugees – it was really cool to hear their stories and just be around them. Afterwards we took them for a tour of the church building (I say building but it’s really just like a set of rooms) and we played some Christmas carols for them. Overall a very good evening and it was cool to hear Ukrainian spoken – I could understand some but it was tough. 

Speaking of understanding, Slovak continues to come along well. I happened to sit next to a somewhat drunk man on the train to Banská Bystrica and he talked to me the whole time. He was muttering though and I had a hard time understanding but I got the general gist of his complaints about the war, refugees, and the Kia factory’s lack of production. It was…interesting but he said my Slovak was ok so that’s cool I guess. 

About the radio – the senior missionaries here, the Ottos, are friends with a local radio producer and she wanted to interview us about how Christmas is in Žilina because we are foreigners. It was just a quick interview – maybe 7 minutes total but we will be on the national radio or something like that soon! Hopefully someone hears and is interested. 

We also had the opportunity to visit Trenčín, where Mom is from and where Babka lives. That was cool – it’s different to be back there as a missionary instead of a tourist. We were there because there was a concert being put on and we were a part of it. That went really well, a lot of people showed up along with like half the missionaries that were nearby. There were lots of very good performances and the first saxophone I’ve ever seen played in a church building. Then we had traditional dinner with kapustnica and everything. It was so nice to be in Trenčín again even if it was just briefly. Also Babka got me two fire ties – one is super Christmasy and looks really good with one of my sweaters. She knows what’s up with the kroj. 

Speaking of ties, I figure I’ll update you all on the tie spreadsheet. It’s going well, although my collection/rotation has shrunk as I had to make some decisions on what I was keeping and was simply didn’t make the cut. My standards have risen quite a bit – the tie game out here is solid. I now have a list of decommissioned ties as well and have updated the dropdown to check both lists using a nested VLOOKUP. Good stuff. My rotation is now only 18 ties. 

Finally, me and elder Noflte picked up old Soviet cameras from a guy on Marketplace today. Mine is missing a part and he will get it to me soon, but the other one is pretty cool and I’m excited to see how the pictures develop. I’ll update everyone on that too. 

Finally, I’ve decided that instead of being limited by sending pictures in the emails I’ll just make a Google Photos album and add things to that as they happen. Here’s the link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qYoYaKPmkqFZHoVM7

Thanks for all the emails you’ve sent – it’s been great to hear from everyone. Hopefully you all get some more snow back home – there isn’t any here either. 

Love you all,

Starší Cundick

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